I think movies/TV reinforce and intensify values already held, and this is
probably true of both adults and children. I am doubtful that movies CAUSE
a change in values.
To test this notion,I took the time to find out which films were Hitler's
favorites. After all,it would be wonderful if one could prevent (or even
reduce the likelihood of) a Hitler by banning a film or changing a TV
channel. Unfortunately, it turned out that Hitler's favorites were KING
KONG (1933) and SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937).As neither of these
films appears to provide a sufficient explanation of Hitler's subsequent
actions,I concluded the relationship between film-viewing and subsequent
action is a highly complicated one.
However, that's not to say that a film cannot stimulate immitative actions
by those already disposed to agree with its values.A recent horrrible
example is the real-life incineration of a news stand vendor based on a
fictional incident in (I think) the film MONEY TRAIN.
Peter S. Latham
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